Reading eBooks on Microsoft Surface RT/Pro (Windows 8) tablets is an important experience for many people, together with office use and diversified forms of entertainments. However, eBooks from different stores are mostly DRM protected and come in different formats, thus we cannot read all eBooks on Surface RT / Pro in a consistent way. This guide will explain how to read eBooks on Surface tablets in different cases.
As we know, Microsoft Surface Pro can run all Windows applications, therefore we can easily read eBooks on Surface Pro (Win 8) with a series of applications like Calibre (64-bit) and Kindle for Win 8. However, there is no Adobe Digital Editions for Windows 8 at the moment (According to an Adobe Stuff, #3 Jeff A Wright) and current ADE 2.0 requires Microsoft .Net 3.5. Fortunately, this problem can be resolved by installing a lowever ADE 1.7 on Surface Pro tablets (click to download). But Surface RT customers are not that lucky due to RT's ARM processor, which only supports ARM-based metro apps instead of traditional Windows ones. As a result, we will mainly discuss how to read eBooks, including DRM protected EPUB and PDF titles on Surface RT tablets.
MetroReader is the first reading app designed for Microsoft Surface tablets / Win 8, which well supports EPUB and TXT and offline reading on Surface RT / Pro. Unlike heaps of free reading apps for android, however, MetroReader is not a free one, but sells at $4.49 in Windows store. What’s more, purchased EPUB books, which are mostly DRM-protected, are not supported on this app. Thus if we want to read previously purchased books on Surface tablet, we will have to turn to the second method.
Calibre also supports DRM-free eBook reading. However, this can only be done on Pro version. Although Calibre has offered 5 versions for various platforms (Windows, Windows 64 bit, Mac OS X, Portable and Linux), there is no version especially for Surface RT ARM processor.
Method 2: Use Epubor Ultimate to remove DRM from purchased EPUB / PDF books and read on Surface RT tablets with general reading apps
As I’ve put, nearly all purchased books are DRM protected while MetroReader (including Calibre for Surface Pro) only supports DRM-free EPUB. In all probability, you will associate DRM-protected EPUB / PDF books (exclude Nook books, which will be explained in the next method) with Adobe Digital Editions. Nevertheless, as I have said, this can only be done on MS Surface Pro. There has been no Adobe Digital Editions for Win 8 / RT by far.
You may then think of Kobo reading app for Win 8 / RT or Nook for Win 8 / RT. Well, there is no problem to use Kobo app for reading Kobo books and Nook app for Nook books on Surface RT / Pro. But how about books purchased from other stores which do not provide corresponding reading apps? One case in point is that there is only Sony for win 8 application (desktop version) available, which means there is no problem for Surface Pro holders whereas all RT users have no access to Sony app. Not to mention those smaller eBook stores which offer DRM-protected eBooks but completely rely on other reading apps such as Adobe Digital Editions. Since ADE does not offer RT / Win 8 version at the moment, how can we read DRM protected EPUB / PDF books in a general way, apart from restricted Nook for RT / Win 8 app or Kobo reading app for RT / Win 8?
The solution is to remove DRM from EPUB / PDF books with Epubor Ultimate on your computer firstly. Then transfer DRM-free EPUB / PDF books to Surface RT tablets and read with apps like MetroReader (EPUB only) or Nook / Kobo app.
Guide to remove DRM from EPUB / PDF books for reading on Microsoft Surface RT / Pro tablets
Note that the whole DRM removing job needs to be done on your computer instead of Surface tablets.
#1. Install Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) on your computer and authorize your computer with Adobe ID. Make sure you can read the EPUB / PDF books on Adobe Digital Editions(ADE). That's how the right decryption key is generated to decrypt your books and you can’t skip this step.
#2. Download and install Epubor Ultimate Converter, which enables you to remove DRM from eBooks and convert formats at the same time.Windows Version Download Mac Version Download
#3. Run Epubor software. Drag and drop your EPUB / PDF books to software and they will be DRM removed at once.
If you want to read eBooks with Metro Reader app (supports EPUB and TXT only), you will have to convert PDF to EPUB. Just select the output format as “EPUB” and then click convert icon.
To get decrypted DRM-free eBooks, click to select the book and click the title link under the book cover on the right hand side. The decrypted EPUB / PDF books will be in front of you at once. Then you can transfer the converted DRM-free EPUB / PDF books to Surface tablets and read.
Method 3: Use Nook / Kobo for Windows 8 / RT reading apps to read eBooks on Surface RT / Pro tablets
We can easily get Nook for Win / RT and Kobo for Win 8 / RT reading app from Windows app store to read Nook and Kobo books on MS Surface tablets. They can also be used to read DRM-free EPUB and PDF books from public domains.
However, there is no such a compatible version for Sony reading app. We can't either read DRM protected eBooks from other stores by using Kobo and Nook apps, as Surface RT tablets actually have no way to get authorized with Adobe ID or verify users' ownership of their eBooks. In this case, we will have to go back to Method 2.
Frankly, I do not that like reading eBooks in PDF format, which is not as flexible as EPUB or Kindle books. Luckily, Adobe Reader gives us another free way, along with Nook / Kobo reading apps, to read eBooks on Surface tablets with password-protected PDFs supported. It enables readers to quickly open PDF documents, search text, select reading modes, share & email PDFs, draw markups, zoom text & images, use bookmarks & links and the like.
Reading Kindle books on Surface tablets is much easier.
1 Go to Windows app store and download & install Kindle for Win 8 app on Surface RT / Pro.
2 Register Kindle for Windows 8 with your Amazon account.
3 All your Kindle books will be synced automatically under wifi connection.
For your favorite Kindle books , you can feel free to pin to homescreen.
Do hope this post will deliver you readers a good understanding of how to read eBooks (Kindle / EPUB / PDF) books on Microsoft Surface RT / Pro (Windows 8) tablets. So what about jailbroken Surface? Well, applications out of Windows store can be installed on jailbroken Surface RT / Pro tablets, which has nothing to do with reading eBooks on Surface, however. Methods mentioned here can also be used on other Windows 8 titles.
Ada Wang works for Epubor and writes articles for a collection of blogs such as ebookconverter.blogspot.com.